Study links diet soda to stroke, dementia

(NBC) - There's another reason why you might want to think twice about drinking a sodas or sugary fruit juices.

A study now links diet soda with a higher risk of stroke and dementia.

The latest data from the Famingham Heart study in Massachusetts suggests that people who frequently drink sodas and fruit juices are more likely to have poorer memory as well as smaller overall brain volumes. 

 

"We advise that people don't drink sugary beverages because we know they are associated with a whole range of adverse health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes," said Matthew Pase, PhD at Boston University School of Medicine

Pase authored the study and also says the outcomes can be just as bad consuming diet drinks with artificial sweeteners. 

"We found that those people who were consuming diet soda on a daily basis were three times as likely to develop both stroke and dementia within the next 10 years as compared to those who did not drink diet soda," said Pase.

About 4,000 Framingham residents, 30 or older, were monitored for this study. 

The findings appear separately in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia and the journal Stroke.

However, brain researchers are encouraged the report could alter lifestyle choices by consumers.

"I think the idea that the food that we take for granted might have health risks is really a fundamental concept," said Dr. Alan Lerner, the Director of Brain Health & Memory.

Researchers suggest this shows why people should at least be cautious about regularly consuming either diet sodas or sugary beverages. 

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